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Come Follow Me Insights (Doctrine and Covenants 67—70, Jun 21-27) – powered by Happy Scribe
I’m Taylor and I’m Tr.
This is Booker Mormons Centrals, Come, Follow Me Insight’s Today Doctrine and Covenants Section sixty seven through 70.
A quick message from the production team. We experienced technical difficulties with the audio track on this episode and we apologize for the bad audio quality. If you are having trouble hearing, we recommend that you turn on the subtitles by clicking on the closed caption button. Please enjoy.
So these sections are given during this kind of this long conference and you’ll notice we’ve been having a lot of conferences in the early stages of the church. Yeah. So we have to remember that back at this time, there’s no first presidency, there’s no Cormega. While there’s a quorum of the seventy and there’s a lot of decisions to be made, they don’t have a church general handbook. And so Joseph is convening and bringing the brethren together, the church members, to discuss this.
So I better understand, because if you look at the word conference, it actually means to confer that were you discuss together. And even though Joseph Smith is the prophet, he’s received lots of revelations. He’s not simply saying, hey, God, we’re all just going to sit around waiting for you to tell us every last thing we need to know. Instead, what does he do? He gets the brother together. Let’s raise your question here. Some things we have to work through and let’s discuss it together.
And they make lots of decisions, and yet even in the middle of that, sometimes God says, hey, good job, let me give you some additional insight. For example, they did four sessions here over a number of days, somewhere between like November 1st to November 12th. And they’d always assign a different person to be the moderator over, I think was for session one. We’re not sure about session two. And William McClelland was the moderator for sessions three or four.
But after the first session, it’s a noon break and he receives section one. It’s just interesting how God works that God allows us to work through the messiness of discussion and talking and making decisions, and sometimes we do things that might be wrong. And God doesn’t always just stop us in the middle of a conversation like, well, you’re wrong about thinking that he lets us work through the messy little.
It’s it’s fascinating to me to sit with people in conference or in a council, and it’s this old notion that you’ve heard before, President Ballard has emphasized this counseling with our counselors, Elder Anderson, Elder Neal Anderson has used the phrase multiple times. Revelation is scattered among us. So it’s this idea of no, let me use a couple of different colors here to signify if this is what we’re trying to figure out, what what God wants us to do.
The beauty of a conference or the beauty of a council is that person A comes in and they bring this perspective and person B brings this perspective of that issue. And Person C has this kind of experience and Person D might have these life experiences and these things. You’ll notice they have some things that aren’t accurate that fall outside of the realm of of truth things as they really are. But the beauty of a conference, the beauty of a council, whether it’s in a hierarchical structure of the church or in a patriarchal or familial structure of the home, when husband and wife come together equally yoked with their children and council together in love and in righteousness, then it’s amazing when we stop trying to defend our position and say that represents true things as they really are, but rather to say, hmm, let’s let’s confer.
Let’s the revelation is scattered among us and I appreciate the fact that it doesn’t matter the setting. When you bring the the best that everybody has to offer together, you get a more complete picture. So in this case, yeah, there was some error. There were some things that don’t fit. But by the time you’re done counseling, you don’t have all of God’s truth in this in this little diagram, in this perspective. But notice what you do have.
You’d be missing this part until we bring somebody in who maybe comes from a different background or upbringing than than you. And over here you get the idea. Conference counseling revelation is scattered among us. This is a principle of the gospel that you will see throughout scriptures, but nowhere more more obviously, than in the doctrine covenants and in church history because of what Taylor saying, when you don’t have a first presidency in accord with the twelve and a quorum of the seventy, they’re they’re trying to figure this out.
And then on those beautiful occasions when God says, OK, you’ve done the best you can, you’ve done your due diligence. Now let me give you some of these missing pieces that you don’t have yet scattered among you. I’ll help you with I’ll help you fill in the big spaces that are missing.
What’s also cool about this is when they’re done, they get unified in their witness, the testimony of what they’re going to teach and what they’re going to do. If I got to ask them after the end of these conferences, I want you to be unified and testify together. Let’s also, just as you’re raising that right out, this word, we have these two words counsel and counsel write in English. They sound the same. You know, the top one council is a group of people who end up counseling together, and this is the very part we’re talking about, is the power that happens when you talk with other people and actually listen to the people and hear other perspectives and consider other people’s viewpoints.
And God asked us in families, in marriages and in the church to counsel with one another, not to dominate, not say I’m always right, you got to listen to me. But the joy of life is God has given us the opportunity to work in a messy world to figure out the best we can. And sometimes God will come in and insert himself with a very clear revelation. And sometimes he’s like, you know, I want you to act and learn.
So in a marriage, in a family, in a work setting, in a church setting, what an amazing thing when the leader or leaders of that, whatever that organization or family may be, when they say, let’s counsel until it becomes clear what the right answer is, far better to come up with something that is that represents us under inspiration than me alone in isolation from my own set of experiences and constraints. It’ll be a happier marriage, a happier family, a happier organization, a happier reward when we don’t dominate, but rather when we counsel with our counsels.
I’ve had so many of at the end, they were joyful experiences when I came into a conversation, even if my marriage were like, I start talking, I’m like, I agree with myself. So that must be the right thing because I agree with myself. And my wife would bring a perspective. And there’s one particular story. Some years ago, my car died, so I did get a new car. Well, I had to get in another car, a used car.
This is totally true. I literally was about to sign the papers. I found I had done the drive. I checked it all out. I’m at the dealership. I’m literally it was all I had to do is just sign. And the car was mine. Well, after paying for it, I thought I told the sales guy, let me just check with my wife one more time. We’d already talked about it like three or four times. I call her up and she’s like, actually, I’ve been having some initial thoughts.
I think we need to get something else. And I’m just like, what? And she’s like, let’s get ourselves a band. And I wanted a smaller car for myself. I’m like, why do we need a van? You know, we had two kids at the time. She’s like, that way we can drive the neighborhood kids to school, but we have really young kids this time. I’m like, I’m not thinking I need to go buy a neighborhood bus.
Well, let’s fast forward a bunch of years, my wife was right, by the way, but it took me a while to come to terms with the fact that she was right. And I have to tell you, the number of times over the last six or seven years, it currently like today, I just dropped off the kids. I was driving a bus full of kids with our dad. And I’ll come home and say, you were so absolutely wise to encourage me not to sign that paper because our life circumstances were going to change and we would need to be participating, being good neighbors.
And this is Joy. When you listen to other people and get outside of like, yeah, I agree with myself, there’s real power learning to agree with others.
It’s amazing to to finish this up that there are really kinds of three levels here. There’s the ME level. And then when you’re in that group, that organization, whether it be a marriage or a word or whatever it may be, it’s the we level. But the ultimate level is when you can have those to combine with the the level when you can involve all of those layers and levels in this decision making process, in this conferring together, it’s not just me conferring with myself.
It’s like the old cliche or the old saying of of course, I speak to myself. I sometimes need expert opinion that that just doesn’t work very well in a marriage that doesn’t work very well in a ward or in a in a work setting. Even when you can really expand that out, you’re going to be better. But it’s out here where so you go good, better, best when you can involve the Lord and people all around you and making those decisions, which Joseph is modeling that over and over and over again.
And there are times when the voice of the Lord is very clear. And even though people are trying to encourage him otherwise, he he he learned some lessons about giving in to other people’s opinion when he already knew what the Lord’s view on it is. And that’s what you also see in our in our church today, occasionally, where you get modifications or adjustments to policies or procedures or certain things that we do in the church. It’s as if the Lord has spoken to our prophets, Sears and regulators.
And though we may have lots of questions out here about how to implement what they’re they’re telling us to do, the reality is this the direction was clear. So now we move forward. Timing and and the order of the events in these sections gets a little tricky. If you go to Joseph Smith paper bag and you look up the documents and you go to the eighteen thirty one section and you see the revelations coming out and then you read some of the historical background on each of those revelations.
You’ll notice that in timing that they’ve listed on the Joe Smith Papers website, section sixty eight, followed by Section second, section one followed by Section 67, followed by Section one, thirty three, followed by then section sixty nine. And then we march forward. There’s a lot happening here. You’ll notice we’re all over the Doctrine and Covenants map, which might be a little bit confusing to some of you. The Book of Commandments is first printed in eighteen thirty three.
Now keep in mind, when you get the mob action really ramping up in Independence, Missouri in eighteen thirty three, this is the book that they’re almost finished printing in its entirety in and we Phelps’s print shop in Independence where they destroy the press, they throw out the windows, all these copies of different different stacks of papers containing the Book of Commandments. It’s that commandments that the the Rollin’s sisters save some and go out into the cornfield. You’ve probably heard that story.
That’s eighteen, thirty three. And keep in mind, the Book of Commandments is going to be stopping here. But at the time it wasn’t Section one thirty three because the Lord gave the preface and the conclusion to the book. Right in the same time period, and so we now put it at the end of the doctrine and covenants. So we’re going to print the doctrine covenants in 1835 and there is where we shift the appendix or the conclusion to the book back into its place where we see it today.
So you have the preface and the conclusion. What makes this so interesting? Taylor already mentioned that, that you have W-W or so you have William McLeland, you have Sidney Rigdon, and you have Oliver Cordery, who all have been tasked with this idea of we’ve got all these revelations up through Section 65 and 66. We’ve got them in Hyrum, Ohio, and we’ve got to decide what do we want to do with them, what we need to publish them.
They had agreed in conference, they’d agreed to publish 10000 copies of these. And so they they were saying, well, we need some context for them. We need we need a preface so people know what it is that they’re reading, what these revelations are. And so isn’t that amazing? You get Sidney, you get Oliver and you get William McClellan all writing their own their own preface. And they come together in conference and they’re debating and they’re they’re disagreeing.
No, I don’t like the way you’ve worded that note, that claim right there. I don’t think we should make. And and there’s this debate and here’s Joseph watching this conference going on between these three and other other people participating in what is Joseph to. He turns heavenward. And asks for directions at which point revelation begins to flow and it flows very clearly and very methodically to the point where it can be written down line by line by line, and thus we get section one from above it.
It’s a gift it’s given. Now, I don’t know if if they would have received Section one, even if they hadn’t had Oliver and Sydney and William go through that exercise. I think I think personally that they would have still gotten Section one. But the fact that they did the best they could before the Lord gave them Section one is going to at least for those three. And anybody else in that council who watch the process, it’s going to show them the power.
They are going to hold on more dearly to Section one than perhaps they otherwise might have done because they saw their own feeble attempts that failed. And now they see the beauty of of that section as it comes forth.
And again, there’s this beautiful principle that God allows us to suffer in a struggle when God could have just shut up and said, I’m going to give this section early on. I want no confusion. I want I want to know what the doctrine of covenants of the commandments is all about. And yet God allows us to suffer and to struggle. I had to say it in my life. I think the doctrine that I struggle the most with is that God will allow me to suffer so that I could become like him.
It’s the doctor that I think that’s like I will follow nature human. I’m like, just give me the primrose path or just make it nice and clean and clear with no thorns or briers or any difficulties. No stubbed toes, no skinned knees. God’s like I could do that. But you could never become like me without the suffering and the struggle. And I love that he allows them to work through it. Now I want to make it clear, just because you’re suffering and struggling doesn’t mean you need to stay in that situation.
But God loves us enough that he allows us to experience and the great joy to get to know that Jesus experienced or suffer all things so he can sucker us to lift us up in whatever we’re struggling with. It’s beautiful.
How many of you have ever been in a in a difficult conversation where you’re struggling to figure something out and it’s just not clear and you’re not seeing eye to eye and the temptation for both parties or both sides is to just give up and walk away and say we surrender. We can’t figure this out versus this idea of these these early signs are showing us. They keep at it. They keep at it, they keep going. It’s like this is a journey through a dark forest is counseling with our counselors trying to figure out what everybody’s bringing to the table and trying to find truth.
And if you just keep at it, keep at it long enough, then the light will shine and oh, how much more glorious the light shines when you’ve spent time working faithfully and struggling with with trust through that dark forest experience. It’s beautiful. Now, under section sixty seven, this section is given because there are some very, very clear apprehensions going on. You can picture Oliver Cowdrey, Sidney Rigdon, William MacLellan and others who all have significantly more experience and education and learning than Joseph Smith.
And now we have sitting in front of us this book of revelations that we’re going to now have published and sent forth to the world that has some well, as a lot of spelling errors. It has some grammatical flaws to it. The punctuation in places is terrible. The consistency of the usage of certain terms and what they’re defined as isn’t perfect. It’s not flawless. And the struggle is as we’re now sending this book, fourth printing that the plan here at this conference in Ohio is hile is that we’re going to print 10000 copies of this notice.
First five, your eyes have been upon my servant Joseph Smith Jr. and his language you have known and his imperfections you have known and you saw it in your hearts knowledge that you might express beyond his language. This you also know. Oh, by the way, this revelation, keep in mind, is coming to them from the Lord through Joseph. Do you think there have been times when. When the prophet Joseph has perhaps been painfully aware of his inadequacies, of his imperfections, of his unlearned state, as far as the world standards are concerned, do you think that he hasn’t noticed how other people maybe are more eloquent?
Sidney Rigdon could maybe preach for two hours with power and force. And Oliver Cowdery was a great school teacher and William W. Phelps is a great writer. I think Joseph’s noticed all of that. But I love the fact that here the Lord is acknowledging that Joseph is his chosen servant to do this work. Look at verse six now, seek out of the Book of Commandments, even the least that is among them, and appoint him. That is the most wise among you, which is going to end up being William McClellan, who takes on this challenge, or if there be any among you that shall make one like unto it, then you are justified in saying that you do not know that they these these revelations are true.
So basically it’s the Lord saying, let’s try a little experiment here. You pick the wisest person among you or anyone smarter in the world’s eyes than Joseph Smith and have that person write a revelation that is as good as the least of these revelations, the one that you feel like is the least sounding like God. And if you can do that, then you’re justified in saying that you don’t know that these things are true. William McClellan went and tried and he tried and he tried and he failed.
And he came back and he said, all right, it’s good. Notice, notice versus. Eight, but if you cannot make one like into it, you’re under condemnation, if you do not bear record that they are true for you know that there is no unrighteousness in them and that which is righteous coming down from above from the father of lights now. Put a put a piece of paper or something in your scriptures here, keep your place, because we’re going to come right back here, turn back with us for a moment to doctrine and covenants, section one.
Let’s let’s go back to Section one, because God addressed the very same issue here in verse 24, section one, verse twenty four. Behold, I am God and have spoken at. These commandments are of me, he didn’t say deserve Joseph made them up there, give me. And we’re given to my servants in their weakness after the manner of their language that they might come to understanding, oh, I love that God on high, the father of lights says, I’m going to give my commandments and my revelations under my servants according to their language.
A beautiful cross reference you could write in your margin next to section one. Verse twenty four would be second Nephi, chapter 31, verse three, because Nephi picks up this theme clear back in the book Mormon. Listen to this for my soul delight in plainness for after this matter, does the Lord God work among the children of men? For the Lord, God gives light unto the understanding for his speeches. OnDemand noticed this mark this according to their language and their understanding.
Keep in mind, God up in heaven is not speaking 18 30s English in Frontier America, but that’s not the dialect dialect of heaven. But God doesn’t come down and speak in the heavenly language to Joseph, he speaks in the language that Joseph will understand, just like if he comes to a saint in Korea, he’s not going to speak in English. He’s going to inspire that saint in Korean or in Zimbabwe. Or if he goes to Brazil, it’s going to be in Portuguese.
He’s going to speak to people at their level of understanding and according to their language that they get. And Joseph’s language was not refined high English. It was frontier American English. So in in the book Making Sense of the Doctrine and Covenants by Steve Harper, he quotes Joseph as saying that Joseph felt imprisoned by what he called the total darkness of paper, pen and ink and a crooked, broken, scattered and imperfect language. It shows a feeling imprisoned by the language constraints, but he has these lofty visions and lofty truths that he’s trying to teach us using that that imperfect method, and he simply moves forward doing the best he can.
Now, what does that mean for you? What does that mean for me? Huh? That means that if you ever have the experience of getting up in a sacrament meeting or in a Sunday school lesson or release society less than our elders Cornelissen, or if you give a talk in some other setting and you get frustrated because you feel things you want to teach things, you want to see them in a certain way, and you sit down or you finish that lesson or that talk and you feel you feel deflated like, oh, I failed.
I didn’t I didn’t do what I what I felt. I couldn’t get it out. You’re in good company on the profits through the ages of wrestled with this struggle of trying to communicate things with with imperfect words and imperfect language, where there may be times where you write things a little wrong or you might pronounce them, you might mess up some words and people might make fun of you or or you might not be the most eloquent. I love the fact that Joseph simply keeps moving forward, trusting in the essence of the revelations that are coming rather than in the mechanics of how they came and how they’re portrayed.
But to focus on the bigger picture and I think that’s helpful for us moving forward in our in our families and in our lives to focus on on the bigger picture of what we’re trying to accomplish, rather than all of the nitty gritty details of how we’re accomplishing it moving forward. Now, verse 10 again, verily, I say to you that it is your privilege and a promise given to you that have been ordained into this ministry that inasmuch as you shall strip yourselves from jealousies and fears and humbly you sort of humble yourselves before me, for you are not sufficiently humble.
The veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am. Now, notice the qualifier, not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual. For no man has seen God at any time in the flesh except quickened by the spirit of God, neither can any natural man or by the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind. Brothers and sisters, your first view of God won’t be with Colonel Weiss. It will be in those little moments where you get glimpses of the heavens.
It’s where you might be sitting there listening to a song or you might be in a conference or award meeting or a family meeting or personal scripture study or driving down the road and a thought crosses your mind or on a walk. And you’re just struck with with. Connection with heaven, where you get glimpses, it’s almost as if you’re you’re walking close enough to the veil, but the heavenly breezes are wafting that veil just enough that it just heart’s just a sliver, just a crack where you catch a glimpse of heavenly things.
And then it’s then it’s done and it closes. And you then can move forward in faith for decades on those experiences with with glimpses of the eternities that come from the power of the Holy Ghost, helping you to recognize things as they really are powerful. Look at verse 13. You are not able to abide the presence of God. Now, neither the ministering angels wherefore continue in patients until you are perfected, but not your minds turn back. And when you are worthy in my own due time, you shall see and know that which was conferred upon you by the hands of my servant, Joseph Smith, Jr.
. Amen. I love the way the Lord closed that revelation. He’s my servant and his name is Joseph Smith Jr. and he’s a farm boy. And as you read Section 67 closely, these aren’t the words of a farmer. These are the words of God spoken to us through that chosen servant of his. These are lofty words given in Section 60 70. So Section 68 is yet again a beautiful example of where people came to Joseph seeking to know God’s will for them.
And he receives this this direction for them. And here at the beginning of this section is this beautiful description of what God expects of these missionaries. So you have a portion hyd in verse one called with others to go out and to teach look rivers to behold them. This is an example unto all. You could circle all those who were ordained into this priesthood, whose mission is appointed under them to go forth. So any missionary or any teacher, any leader to to go forth, this is the example or example for all of us that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost.
And whatsoever, they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost, shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord and the power of God unto salvation. Brothers and sisters. This is an amazing verse that if we’re not careful, swing the pendulum too far one way or the other. Let’s just let the verse be what it is and say what it says.
Nothing more, nothing less without going to extremes. There there is this beautiful word in here, scripture. Now, sometimes if we’re not careful, we take the word scripture and we narrowly define it as the canon that which is canonized scripture, which is authoritative and applicable to all of us through time. That is the ultimate example of scripture, but I love the fact that God is giving us a more expansive view of we’re not changing the canon or not adding to the canon when missionaries go out or when people are going to these to these callings, go out and speak by the spirit.
We’re not adding to the canon. It’s not applicable to everybody at all times in all places. That’s why you’ll often hear general authority say at a regional conference or a state conference or a fireside, don’t record this. Don’t don’t publish this. Don’t post this on the Internet as a direct quote that then others may take as binding on them. This is a specific, shall we say, scripture for this group on this occasion today. Right now, don’t record it.
Just just let it enjoy the experience. Today, it’s scripture for you, but it’s not binding on other people and in other settings.
Let’s look at this. The word scripture comes from the word script. That which is written down about the time of Jesus often. Did the religious authorities get mad at him when he started teaching things that weren’t written down? And if you think about it, the scriptures always started with words, God’s words. And so for us to somehow say, well, if it’s not written down, it doesn’t count, actually misunderstands the process of God speaking. And then some of those things are written down to be for everybody.
Some things are actually written down just for you, perhaps your patriarchal blessing or other blessings that you receive. So we use this word all the time, but we have made it such a natural thing at times that I love the revelation here in 1868 that more expansively says when you’re experiencing the voice of God and his spirit, that’s scripture. That’s a revelation.
It’s beautiful. I’ll never forget this was one of the defining moments of my life. I was 15 and a half years old and my mother called up a patriarch who was no longer giving patriarchal blessings in our state simply because he had given some blessings to some older siblings. And she felt very strongly that that if he was willing to to give one more blessing, that that it would be a great benefit to me. And so here I am, 50 and a half years old.
He agreed to do this. My parents and I went and knocked on his door there in River Heights, Utah, Carl Mortensen and this old man that I had never met before. He’s not in good health. That’s why he was no longer functioning as the regular patriarch. But he was still an ordained patriarch and he agreed to give this this additional blessing. I we go into his home. He spends maybe 10 minutes just chatting mostly with my mom, not even to me.
And then he tells me to come and sit down in a chair and he starts a little tape recorder and places these shaky hands on my head and proceeds to pronounce a patriarchal blessing. Brothers and sisters, that blessing. Four for one of the first times in my life, I felt some things in my soul, in my heart, that I hadn’t felt to that degree before a connection with heaven that this blessing was being given. Not I really old patriarch.
But coming through him directly from heaven and that blessing has become absolute scripture to me, Taylor is talking about to me that scripture is is as good as canonized for me, but nobody else on the whole planet. Same thing when a state president or a bishop or relief society president gets appropriate revelation for their award or their group, whatever it may be, it can be absolute powerful scripture for that group. It’s just not binding on anybody else outside of that group.
So I love this expanse of. Opening up of this revelatory seeking process that the Lord is doing with these people, and isn’t it interesting, the president, Nelson, his first major talk on that Sunday morning, the first session or the first conference after he was put in as the prophet? What is this talk? It’s seeking revelation for the church and for ourselves individually, it’s it’s this expansive idea that God wants to speak to us in. In Stephen Harper’s book, he points out that in 1838, seven years after this, Ralph Waldo Emerson is going to be speaking at the Harvard graduation and in Boston.
And what does he tell them? He’s going he says, quote, To show us that God is not was that he speaks, not speak. That’s what I see happening here as well, is this idea of you don’t just worship a dead God who spoke to people in the past. Connect with the God who is speaking to people today, so you’ll notice now versus go into all the world. Preach the gospel to every creature acting in the authority which I have given you.
Some people ask, why does your church and missionaries into Christian parts of the world? It’s not because of any other reason than we’re commanded to to go into all the world, preach the gospel to every creature that’s 100 percent baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Ghost. And he believes and is baptized, shall be saved, and he believe is not shall be damned. Jesus keeps this very, very simple. And he, the believers, shall be blessed with signs following even as it is written.
And unto you, it shall be given to you to know the signs of the times and the signs of the coming of the son of man. So that is our commission to go do it. Now we get to figure out the how how to make that happen, what that actually looks like in practice. Now you’ll notice something here. Verse 15 talks about the first presidency, and yet you’re aware of the fact that in eighteen thirty one there is no first presidency.
So in the original revelation, verse 15 wouldn’t have been there. This gets added for the 1835 edition, which now we have in our in our 2013 edition as well. Down to today is some of these what would be called anachronisms or out of time statements or revelations. And it’s OK because Joseph, in 1835, when there’s more revelation, he comes back into Section 68 and this is where he inserts the additional information that is relevant to everything that is going on in Section 60, the things that are being discussed here, you’ll notice the same thing in verse 22 and 23, some additional things that are added later on that wouldn’t have been in the original 1831.
But now you understand hopefully why they get added and no verse 25. And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion or in any of her states which are organized that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ, the son of the living God and a baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents. Can I can I just share a little story with you that I heard on the radio 30 years ago?
I’ve been to work about a father who was very, very successful at work. Oh, he was good. He he was he was on the top of his game. And he would spend hours and hours and hours at work and everybody at work loved him. And everybody celebrated him, thought he was the greatest thing ever. And he was making a lot of money and climbing that ladder of success in his career and. Little did he realized what he was missing out on at home.
One day he came home late again, as was his practice, and his wife had put the children to bed and he went in to his oldest son. About 10 years old and his son was already in bed, but he was still awake and he gave him a little kiss goodnight and told him how much she loved him. And the little kids said, Daddy, can I ask you a question? How much do you make an hour? His dad thought that’s a strange question from a 10 year old, and so he said something, he gave him some number.
At that point, the little kid reached under his pillow and he grabbed out some wanted money and he started counting it. And he said, Dad. Can I borrow twelve dollars from you instead? Like, what do you need to borrow twelve dollars from me for? And he said. Because if I take that 12 dollars and add it to what I already have, then maybe I could buy an hour of your time. Brothers and sisters, there are a lot of things to pursue in this life.
There are a lot of things to go after we spend our time and energy and talent. I love verse 25 because it brings us back home. It brings us back to things that matter the most and the things that matter the most aren’t things. Their people, their loved ones, they’re all around us. Keep in mind, when you when you sacrifice willingly for something, it leads to increased love of that thing, the greater the sacrifice, the greater the potential for love.
I don’t I don’t know about you, but I have never yet met anyone who is getting near the end of their life, who shakes their head and regrets and says, man, I just wish I could go back in time and spend more time at the office, spend more time in worldly pursuits, getting the gain in the glory of the world. I’ve never met anybody who who has said that, but I’ve met a lot of people who have said, oh, I wish I could go back in time.
And just spend more time with my family, with my children. Sacrificing some of those things that are really important to me at the time for those which are the most important, which are those relationships, those those connections with people. Now, this is not intended to be some new program you institute in your family or become some formulaic one size fits all program. Isn’t it interesting that the most powerful relationships with your family, those most powerful experiences, do you know what they often are?
They’re spelled this way. It’s it means you spend time with them. We’re not just talking, spending lots of time making money so that you can spend quality time for one or two weeks a year. It’s quantity and quality time with those that matter most. It’s and for some families, that means you’re going to spend a lot of time going to to sporting events and practices and games. For others, it’s going to be dance recital. For others, it’s going to be spending time in the kitchen, cooking with them and taking food to people.
For others, it’s going to be sitting on a couch reading lots of books or a series of books or watching movies together or taking up a hobby of painting or skiing or or going on vacations or whatever they may be. It’s it’s this time on task where these youngsters then learn from you and these people around you, learn from you. But the key with the children isn’t just time to fill the time. It’s time where they get to really know you, where you can really teach them the gospel.
Which means it’s kind of like these revelations we’ve been talking about or they go along doing the best they can, and then on occasion, God gives these flashes of brilliance. If we’re not putting that in with our family, we’re less open to those flashes of brilliance where at the right time, at the perfect time, when that child’s heart or mind are receptive to actually learn something, where the Holy Ghost can then inspire us to teach that gospel principle.
If if we’re not spending the time with our children and with our loved ones, then we’re less likely to get it.
Those opportunities in all generations, God asks families and parents to teach their children the gospel. If we go back to the early Israelites, they have been safely taken out of Egypt and God has been covenant with them Sinai. And he wants to give them the promised land. And if you look at a book of Deuteronomy, he’s reminding them of their covenantal duties and obligations. And listen to this Deuteronomy Chapter six. Beginning verse four, he says here, oh, Israel, the Lord, our God is one lord, you might actually consider that as an ancient Israelite article of faith and it goes on, and thou shalt love the Lord that God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all I might.
OK, well, how how is the way we could show that of that fall love to God. Let’s continue on verse six and these words, which I command of the state, shall be in the heart. And then verse seven is very important. It fits right here into what we’re learning and Doctrine Covenant 68 about the importance of parents teaching the gospel principles. And that’ll teach them these words, that’ll teach them diligently until their children. And she’ll talk of them when they were citizens in the house and when they’ll walk us, by the way, with our lives down and when they’ll rise up.
I want to just point out here to God say I want you to have an official lesson that begins with a prayer, a song, and you have like a 25 minute lesson where the kids are absolutely not distracted anyway and no fights break out. And then you conclude with another song, a clue to the prayer, and you have an agenda that you followed. No, even though those moments are important as families to have official time to talk about the gospel, what I love is God’s focus on just live your life and let your life be an example to your children of your faithfulness that you loved me and you love your neighbor.
Let your life so shine that in any moment at all times that you can find an opportunity to talk to your children about things that matter. It doesn’t have to be an official moment. So, again, sometimes in the church we fill this need that we have to check off all these boxes that I’ve yeah, I’ve made sure I’ve done my family evening and I’ve done my family church time. Those are important activities. But what if you just said to yourself, I love my children and maybe I’m at the grocery store and it’s an opportunity for them to talk to them about the importance of financial management or I’m in other I’m at a park and I just talk about the importance of loving those around me.
It could be any setting in any principle of goodness, but always coming back to the power of faith in Jesus Christ and repenting or changing our lives. So it’s focused on Jesus. And again, I love how in the modern day revelation, we are reminded and encouraged to do this parents to children and we get in the ancient times as well. God is consistent. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
So as we as we finish up this particular concept to two final thoughts that I would like to share. Number one, some people as parents or grandparents or as siblings feel inadequate, feel like they aren’t smart enough, or have the right training or the right words to be able to help a child or a sibling or a parent or a loved one in one particular setting. The reality is brothers and sisters, God put us together in in the family structures that he did for a reason.
Your children don’t need other experts to raise them. They need you. God, send them to you and he will empower you with knowledge to know how to be you and to help them to grow into the very best version that they can become. Now, you’ll use experts as needed in different settings, but don’t feel inadequate. Feel empowered that God has given you what you need in order to to raise these these children that were born to heavenly parents before they were sent to your family.
Now, the second thing I wanted to mention and we’ll move on. Is this notion of that which you sacrifice for? Increases your capacity to love. Think about the Lord Jesus Christ, the greater the sacrifice, the greater the potential for being able to love. He gave everything. Does it surprise you now that he loves you infinitely? I think that infinite love is is the product of his willingness to infinitely sacrifice for us, and there is great joy that he receives in that process.
Sometimes, you know, we look at our those of you who might be raising a family right now or have younger grandchildren, sometimes it can be heavy. It can feel like a lot of effort and a lot of work with not a lot of payoff at times. And we feel like. I’ve got to be this this good parents, I’m going to sacrifice the things that I really would rather do to come in and play this little game with these children.
Brothers and sisters, one of the beauties of eternity is that reading that story or playing that game with little children isn’t just for the little children. I, as a daddy, need that softening, need that that downtime, that connecting bonding time, just as much as they need the bonding time with daddy, the Lord allows both groups to be edified together through all of this this shared experience over time. Now, he he finishes section sixty eight by saying the verse 30 for these sayings are true and faithful, wherefore transgress them not neither take their from.
Isn’t it interesting knowing what’s been going on in Hyrum, Ohio, with these councils at this conference and the concerns about the language? Here’s the Lord at the very end of Section 68. While this is fresh on everybody’s mind, saying don’t take away from this revelation, which harkens back to something in Deuteronomy, also in the Book of Revelation, don’t don’t take away from or add to the revelations that they may look imperfect to you, but just leave it and God will inspire his prophets, Sears and regulators who have authority to make those changes if they’re needed to be made, as we’ve shown in a couple of instances here down the road.
But it’s going to come through the appointed channels, not because we think we’re smarter than them, God’s prophets, Sears and regulators who are appointed and given the keys to these to these scriptures, so to speak. Now, very quickly, moving on to Section 69. This is a. A scripture that gives this notion of Oliver is going to be going on this long journey with this really important book that’s going to be published in Independence by W.W. Phelps, and he’s got a lot of money with him and he needs he needs some help.
Look at verse one. Harkonnen to me says, the Lord, Your God for my servant Oliver Cowdrey’s sake. It is not wisdom in me that he should be entrusted with the commandments and the money which he should carry unto the land of Zion except one go with him, who will be true and faithful. I wonder if that principle is relevant to us today, not just to Oliver and John Whitman in 1831. I wonder if God loves it when we all find.
Traveling companions in different forms and in different kinds of relationships that are true and faithful, that help us overcome temptation to protect us from outside influences and outside hurt and help us go safely on our journey. I think there’s probably a lot of ways we could liken that scripture to us. And if we have eyes to see and look around, I think that from Oliver Cowdrey’s perspective, we today would be able to recognize a whole bunch of John Whitmarsh who the Lord has brought into our life at different times to be our traveling companion and to help shore up, because together we’re much stronger and we’re less likely to fall to temptation than when we’re divided and separated.
Now, in closing, brothers and sisters, you don’t have to compete for the savior’s time. You don’t have to try to buy an hour of his attention for you, you’ve already got it freely given he’s already sacrificed everything that he had for us and he already loves you infinitely. So in closing, our invitation is as we try to be like Jesus and follow in his ways, that we look for opportunities and ways to find those people around us, to counsel with our loved ones and with our counsels and to to seek the Lord’s will and to spend quality time and quantity time with those whom God has entrusted into our care.
And we know that he lives and we know that he loves you and lose out with you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Come Follow Me LDS 2021 D&C 67-70 (June 21-27) (Doctrine and Covenants) – Revelation Roller Coaster – powered by Happy Scribe
In a period of two weeks, Joseph receives eight revelations that are completely out of chronological order in the doctrine and covenants in order of the date received. We start in Section 66, received on October 29th. We ease back to 65, up to 68, then rocket backwards to the preface in Section one jet forward to sixty seven before suddenly blasting all the way forward to 133 for the appendix of the book with cracking back to 69 and finally ending up in Section 70 received on November 12th.
Who exhausting. This is going to be fun. In November 1831, Joseph Emma and their adopted twins moved from Kirtland to the John Johnson Farm in Hyrum, Ohio. Now, John was a wealthy farmer who, along with his wife, Elsa, had a beautiful home. They were about the same age as Joseph’s parents. So even though they had nine children, most of them were already married and living on their own. So their large home had plenty of room for Joseph’s family and for working with Sidney Rigdon on the Inspire translation of the Bible.
They even built a Bowery in the front yard so the profit could preach from the front porch. The Elsa and John Johnson family was converted after the Prophet miraculously healed else’s arm. And in Section 68, the Johnson sons, Luke and Lyman, are called to serve a mission. Luke, with his brother in law, Orson Hide and Lyman with William McClellan. They’re commanded to go into all the world and preach to every creature. How would you like that to be your mission, Paul?
Well, maybe not. Those creatures, they were very faithful missionaries. And a few years later, in 1835, all four were called to be original members of the Quorum of the Twelve, with 23 year old Lyman ordained as the very first apostle in this dispensation now in the Johnson home. Joseph received a total of 17 revelations and held several important conferences since many members wanted to read and study all of Joseph’s important revelations from the Lord during one of these conferences.
They debated whether or not they should be published. Some argued that the revelations shouldn’t be published because many were sensitive or potentially embarrassing, while others might cause too much Zion fever fever. And the Missouri locals might not like that idea. And frankly, some folks were really embarrassed that the revelations came through. Joseph, who had plain farmer grammar woe. In Section 67, the Lord issued a challenge appoint the most wise among you and see if he shall make a revelation that is likened to these.
Well, several thought William McClellan was the wisest in the room, so he accepted the Lord’s challenge. William, William, William. Don’t forget the leads and doubts. Once written, the others eagerly read William’s manuscript. And wow, it’s clear that something is missing. Sure, it’s filled with fragrant, flowery language, but it didn’t have the divine spirit of the Lord. It’s clear it’s of man and not of God. The Lord then addressed the fears of those who worried about the content of the revelations, saying that the revelations were given to his servants in their weakness after the manner of their language humbled all of the elders declare their willingness to testify to the world that the revelations are from the Lord and should be published.
To learn more of that exciting story, watch the video for Section one, where three elders try to write the preface of the book before turning to the Lord for much needed help. Now, racing forward to Section 69, Oliver Cowdery and John Wittmer, who are called to be stewards of the revelations and commandments, are directed to carry the manuscript and the cash for printing the books hundreds of miles to Missouri, where W.W. Phelps runs the church printing press.
Interestingly, if you remember, Oliver was the first scribe and historian until he left on a mission. Then John was given that calling. Unfortunately, John was a less than ideal church historian. He didn’t write very much, and when he did, he kept messing up, recording the proper dates, which is one of the reasons we’re jumping forward and backward all over right now. On this trip to independence, the Lord Council’s John to receive more training from Oliver, which certainly must have led to some very interesting conversations as they traveled for two months through the cold and snow together.
It may have gone something like, John, why don’t you write more like I did, Oliver? I just keep forgetting, you know, I’m not good at remembering dates and my hands are so cold. Jumping back to Section 68, the Lord gives parents a commandment to teach their children truth. So to make this more fun. Consider this parable. Maybe it sounds familiar. Once upon a time, there were three little pigs each of their parents taught and prepare them for the world.
However, the parents of the first two little pigs hadn’t taught them about faith, repentance or baptism. But the third little pigs parents taught her about the gospel, how to pray and how to make and keep covenants with God. Well, after each of the pigs settled into their lives, the big bad Satan Wolf, came with his huffing and puffing and blew down the first little pigs house and then blew down the second little pigs house. The pigs in their chinny chin.
Chins ran away while the wolf just laughed. Their horses fell pretty easily because they weren’t grounded in truth. Now, when the wolf came to the third little pigs house, he hopped and he puffed. And he sent Hale and whirlwinds for years it while it shook and shuddered a little. It didn’t blow away. Why? Because her parents helped her build her home on a firm, unshakable foundation. Next time, we’ll learn about two of the most amazing early saints.
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